Lafayette Convention and Tourism Commission discuss impact of travel on Acadiana

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2017 was the sixth straight record-breaking year for tourism in Louisiana. $47.1 million visitors hit a four percent increase in spending. 

Locals explain why “travel matters” to them in Acadiana, while celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week. 

National Travel and Tourism week unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to jobs, economic growth, and the way of life for citizens. Here in Acadiana, Lafayette travel is spotlighting how unique each region is.

“People come here for our food, our music, our culture, so anytime we can get them here, we know we’ll have them hooked,” said Ben Berthelot, President, and CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Tourism Commission.

He said the cultural economy is a huge part of the economic pie.  It’s creating about 22,000  jobs in the tourism industry. 

“Lafayette Parish has the highest satisfaction rate among any part of the state in terms of visitor experience and satisfaction,” said Berthelot. 

He believes its a direct result of all their tourism partners, like Hotard  Coaches Bus Rentals. 

“It’s important that we share our culture with the rest of the world. It’s important that when they come to Lafayette, the understand why it is the happiest city,” said Margaret Timmer, the Operations Manager for Hotard. 

She’s one of many partners participating in a tour that highlights everything Acadiana has to offer. “What we do for a living, why we stay here, and why it is so important to grow our area and invest in our area,” said Timmer. 

During this week, partners are exploring new attractions in the area. Berthelot said tourism is such a dynamic part of the state. 

“Money that tourism brings into the economy is $1,000 less we all pay in taxes. That’s a huge number and that’s a thousand of jobs created. It’s a big deal. It’s a big industry and that’s an opportunity to celebrate that this week,” Berthelot added. 

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser is coming to town Thursday, May 9th to celebrate the impact travel has on this region. 

He’s expected to be at Warehouse 535 at 11:45 a.m.

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